Viva Las Vegas! I have a travel destination wish list a mile long, but Vegas was never a place on my wish list. I hate gambling, and I figured I could enjoy the other attractions in cities I was more interested in visiting. But when my husband Travis (who is obsessed with John Mayer) told me that John Mayer was doing a show in Vegas with Dave Chapelle (who we both love), I suddenly became very interested in Sin City.
A Lesson Learned in Buying Flights
I ran a quick search of flight prices over the weekend of the show using Google Flights, and the calendar showed tickets starting in the $200s for the dates we needed. Not bad! So, I went to Ticketmaster to make sure we secured the show tickets first. Once those were purchased (with really good seats, I might add), I was ready to buy the airline tickets.
I searched for round trip Detroit-Las Vegas flights on every app and website that I know. Unfortunately, Google Flights was a bit misleading. There was in fact one solitary flight that cost $250…but it had a 27 hour layover! All other flights cost $450 and up. Since we were only visiting Vegas for a short time, and did not have extra vacation time from work to burn, those flights were not going to work. (I mean, who wants a 27 hour layover in Biloxi?! – I don’t actually remember where the layover was but it was a lame destination – sorry, Biloxi).
In the end, I ended up paying a little over $1,000 in total for two round trip flights… Oops. That was definitely not in the budget. Since the flights were so expensive, we had to save money on this trip elsewhere, so we planned to only stay one night. That is how our 24 Hours in Vegas trip came to be.
I know I previously said that I hate gambling, but once we landed in Vegas, I was ready to try my hand at some slot machines. As soon as you get off the airplane, there are slot machines in the airport terminal. That was pretty cool. I watched Travis put $10 into Lobstermania and win $70! We would later learn that this is where our gambling luck began and ended.
After checking into The Flamingo, we visited the slots and roulette in the Flamingo Casino. I had always heard and seen in movies that the drinks are free on the casino floor, but to me this always sounded like an urban legend. Too good to be true. But it was real! I ordered a free vodka tonic while watching Travis lose money..but at least I didn’t pay for the drink!
After losing a quick $50 we decided to leave the casinos and walk the strip. There was so much to see, we could have taken all day there. We walked around Caesar’s Palace, enjoyed the gaudy architecture, made wishes at the Trevi Fountain, and took the spiral escalator to shopping on multiple floors.
In one of the malls on the strip, we saw a crowd of people at a little storefront with a sign that said The Tipsy Robot. When we got closer we saw that it was a bar, with robot bartenders! We ordered drinks using iPads, then watched as two robot arms mixed and served the drink…What a time to be alive!
For dinner, I wanted to eat at the buffet at the Bellagio, but the line was long and we did not want to cut it too close to the 8:00 showtime. I recommend making reservations while dining in Vegas wherever possible. In a pinch, I found room for dinner at Hexx Kitchen on the Open Table app. That app has been a lifesaver for me so many times!
I ordered the vegetable pizza and Travis had a steak. The food was good, but the view was the best part of dinner. We sat outside with a perfect view across the street of the Bellagio fountain.
After dinner, we walked to the MGM Grand for the show. Dave Chapelle is notoriously strict with cell phones usage during his performances. For this show, every audience member had to lock their phones in a case provided by the venue. I understand why performers do this, but I don’t like it. I feel like I spend a ton of money and time to see a show, so I should be able to take pictures or record my favorite song to enjoy later or to share with friends who weren’t there.
Aside from the cell phone policy, the show was AMAZING! I was never a huge John Mayer fan myself, but seeing him live really made me appreciate how talented he is. His guitar playing was so impressive. And the lyrics to Stop This Train make me want to cry. (Only one of us actually cried during his set. I will let you guess who). Then, Dave Chapelle did an entire stand up routine. It was hilarious from the beginning to the end. He is truly a comedic genius. We had seen Chapelle before, and were disappointed, so this Vegas show was such a pleasant surprise.
Sadly, I was hit by a monster migraine during the show, so I was not up to going dancing. I was pretty bummed, because I was really excited to find a good dance club. So instead, we just went back to the hotel after the show for the night.
The next morning, I was determined to make the Bellagio buffet dream happen. There was no line in the morning, so we were seated right away. The buffet was pretty incredible, but expensive at $44 per person. They had a section of seafood with a mountain of crab legs, an entire section for dessert, a made to order omelet station, and anything else you can possibly imagine in a breakfast buffet. The cinnamon rolls were my favorite part. So buttery and delicious.
After breakfast, we explored the Bellagio. There is luxury shopping, which was fun to walk through and look. They have all the luxury designers from Tiffany’s to Gucci to Louis Vuitton to Prada. I spent a while ogling the diamond jewelry at Harry Winston. I just looked through the windows though, I was too intimidated to go in!
We then made our way to the Bellagio lobby, which was a must-see for me. We saw the iconic multicolored glass ceiling, which was every bit as gorgeous as I hoped. We also walked through an incredible winter wonderland floral display. There were 20 foot horses, a carriage, a bridge, an ice princess, and polar bears all made of real flowers. It was magical!
After the Bellagio, we had just a little time left before we needed to checkout at the hotel and head back to the airport. Thanks to instagram, I needed at least one iconic Vegas shot, so we took a cab to the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada sign.
If you choose to get this shot, be prepared to spend some time there. We had to stand in line for about 30 minutes before we got to the front to get the picture. It was a cold wait, but worth it in the end.
After spending 24 hours in Las Vegas, I have definitely gotten the bug. I want to go back soon to do the things we missed or didn’t have time to do. Pool parties (in the summer), dance clubbing, Cirque Du Soleil, and seven magic mountains will be on my list the next time we visit Vegas. I can’t wait!
SHOP THE LOOKS:
Leah Little has a full time job as a social worker, and has managed to travel the world while wearing beautiful clothes by knowing how to score deals in travel and fashion. Learn more about her journey here. Join the Leah Little Travel and Fashion tribe by entering your email to subscribe to be the first to learn new ways to enjoy the best in travel and fashion for less. Say hi and send her a message! Contact